Is Alzheimer\'s reversable? Maybe so if people are challenged

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Is Alzheimer's reversable? Maybe so if people are challenged

Apparently so from experiments with mice. Putting people in environmentally enriching situations stimulates the growth of new neurons that replace the decaying ones. With mice this reversed the onset of Alzheimera.

Unfortunately from my visits to nursing homes they can be some of them most unenriching environments I have ever seen. Yet that situation is desired by the clients, they don't seem like change or variety beyond the options they are used to.

I wonder if making them all change rooms randomly, or force them to cook for themselves, or in groups might add challenges to their lives.

... Quote:
Working with this mouse model, Tsai's group first trained a number of the rodents to perform a number of tasks. They then induced an Alzheimer's-like neuronal loss that depletes memory.

However, mice that were kept in an "enriched" environment -- rooms full of shelves, perches, nesting material, tunnels and (especially) other mice -- were still able to use their memory to find their way through mazes they had learned to navigate weeks before.

In contrast, mice kept in unstimulating surroundings typically got lost and failed to complete tasks. These rodents were seemingly unable to remember tasks they had learned before, including navigating the mazes, the researchers said.

How might stimulating surroundings preserve or boost memory?

"Environmental enrichment doesn't seem to be bringing back the lost neurons -- we don't think that's the case," Tsai said. "Rather, we think that environmental enrichment promotes new neurons to grow and synapses to form. We propose that it is actually rewiring the brain."


 http://www.washingtonpost.c...
By netchicken: posted on 30-4-2007








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